On the record industry’s attitude toward artists, its shortsightedness, and the utility of free downloads:
Courtney LOVE. “Courtney Love does the math”, Salon 6 June 2000.
Janis IAN. “The Internet debacle” and “Fallout—a follow up to The Internet Debacle” (both at Janis Ian’s website).
The next time you hear anyone from a record company talk about “nurturing artists”, the “future of art” etc., take a look at this analysis of the standard recording contract (courtesy of the Future of Music Coalition).
Academics should take note. The effect of new restrictions on copying will be to put an end to fair use for all material under copyright. Unfortunately the constituency for fair use, unlike the powers ranged against it, is diffuse and tenuously connected. It is not armed with millions of dollars to spend on lobbying; its survival depends on good will, on the perception that everyone’s interest is best served by the free circulation of ideas, and that quoted (which is to say “copied”) discourse (or “content”), duly credited, is essential not only to the presentation of ideas, but to the reader’s trust that what is presented is genuinely the view of whomever it is attributed to.